The Day the Earth Caught Fire

Synopsis: Hysterical panic has engulfed the world after the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously detonate nuclear devices causing a change to the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Val Guest
Production: Universal Pictures
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

The time is now 10:41,

19 minutes before countdown.

19 minutes.

- Yes? Yeah.

- Jeannie?

This is Pete. See if you can find

someone to take a story for me.

My typewriter's seized up.

- I'll try.

- You all right?

Yeah, so far.

You better come up here, Jeannie.

No sense of being on your own.

Pete, how long before we know...

- Copy desk? Hold, I'm giving you newsroom.

- Yes?

- Look, Kitty, do me a favour.

- Are you ready?

- Who's there?

- Pete Stenning. I can't write.

Now, will you take it for me?

But for what? Who says

there's gonna be an edition?

Just take it.

Okay Go ahead. Nice and slow.

It is exactly 30 minutes since the

corrective bombs were detonated.

Within the next few hours,

the world will know

whether this is the end

or another beginning.

The rebirth of man

or his final obituary.

For the last time, man pursued

his brother with a sword,

and so the final fire was kindled.

The Earth that was to live forever

was blasted by a great

wind towards oblivion.

It is strange to think

that barely 90 days ago...

Davis. Yeah?

When did it collapse? Anyone in it?

Try and get a local photographer.

I'll send someone.


- Yes, Dave?

- More flood trouble.

Ascot Racecourse,

new grandstand collapsed.

About the only thing not underwater in

that area seems to be Windsor Castle.

- Martin's down there. Take a photographer.

- Right.

I think Foreign gets the splash tonight, Dave.

Big earthquake piece from Jakarta.

We got enough splashes

with these floods.

"Exeter marooned. Five to six

feet of water, main Devon roads.

"Marines move in with high troop carriers."

I'll even take earthquakes.

Steve, try and get a call

through to Plymouth.

Tell Denison to give us the

latest Lynmouth position.

"Add flash. Beauty queen riot.

Contestants sue each other."

Yeah, we got some great pictures,

but Jeff says we're a family newspaper.

Down here, Mr Davis.

- Anything new on the test?

- Only the last AP report, sir.

New York announces it was detonated

25 miles from the South Pole.

- Must be the biggest bang yet.

- Not that test. The cricket.

Oh. Sorry, sir. Still no play.

Six inches under...

- Were you getting tea?

- I wasn't, Mr Davis...

- Well, you are now.

- Anything else exciting?

Yeah, four transatlantic jets grounded

with reported navigation trouble.

- What causes navigation trouble?

- Sunspots.

- Sunspots?

- Well, ask a silly question...

Right here, Mr Maguire.

More protest letters, sir.

- No. Take 'em to Features.

- Features said take them to you, sir.

I can't stop the bloody bomb.

It went off 10 days ago!

All right. Put 'em down.

Take those back to

the morgue, will you?

- Sir.

- Yeah?

No, this is Bill Maguire here.

Oh, I'm sorry, Sandy. He's out

of the office at the moment.

Well, yes, even reporters

have to go sometime.

Yes, all right. I'll tell him.

Would you mind telling me something?

I was under the impression that

you wanted a piece on thrombosis.

Well, as I can only do

one thing at a time,

what am I expected to do with

all these protest letters?

Thank you very much

but there's 1,700 of them.

Don't worry about that now. Go down

and see if my car's back, will you?

It's a tan Morris in

the side entrance.

If it is, Mr Stenning's probably in

Harry's Bar. Tell him he's wanted, quick.

- Sir.

- And how's the thrombosis market?


This'll give the high-paid executive

readers a nice moment of anxiety

at their breakfast tomorrow.


Mr Sanderson's asking

for you, Mr Stenning.

So they sent Pip the cabin

boy to bail me out.

- I think he was in a hurry, sir.

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Wolf Mankowitz

Cyril Wolf Mankowitz (7 November 1924 – 20 May 1998) was an English writer, playwright and screenwriter. He is particularly known for three novels—A Kid for Two Farthings, Make Me an Offer, and My Old Man's a Dustman—and other plays, historical studies, and the screenplays for many successful films which have received awards including the Oscar, Bafta and the Cannes Grand Prix. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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